Dealing with a Child that is Lying

By Britta Marsh on 30 Jul 2018
Categories: Behaviour

Lying is a stage that every child goes through. With this in mind, how do we deal with our little story tellers and help them understand that lying is unacceptable? Should there be a harsh punishment? Yelling? Privileges taken away? The truth is you have to find what works for you and and your child.

When trying to teach your child that lying is wrong, don’t tell them any fibs, because you are not really teaching anything in that matter. Here are some tips from some mums that have had to deal with lying and how they worked addressed it with their kids.

  1. Reading the child the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is a classic. This story explains what happens when someone lies. After reading this story to your child, have a conversation about the book and the message that it passes on.
  2. When your child is truthful about things reward them and thank them for being honest. This helps the child learn that the truth is far less painful than a lie.
  3. When your child tells a lie about something give them a chance to tell the truth before jumping all over them. Once they have told the truth thank them, and then proceed with a punishment if it is needed.
  4. Explain the consequences of lying. Lying may mean they get double the punishment. If they tell the truth, there may still be a consequence, but not as much as if they tell a lie.
  5. Have the child stand in the mirror with you and tell a story. They will be able to see their own face when they are doing this. You can explain to them that you know when they are lying because you can see it in their face. They will know you really can because they have seen it for themselves. This will encourage being truthful.
  6. Explain that telling a lie makes others sad, and that they will have a hard time believing them when they are actually telling the truth because they have lied about other things.
  7. Be consistent in the way that you work with your child, and try to involve other adults that are in their life (other parents, grandparents, teacher ect.) so that they can work with them as well.

When it comes to a child and lying, punishment may not always be the best solution. It is far better to encourage the truth by using gentler means. We all know that yelling at children really doesn’t help, but to simply sit them down, and talk about what lies can do to others, is a great method.

For your child’s safety, don’t put any kind of soap or detergent in their mouths, this can be very dangerous, and can make them sick due to the chemicals that are in the soap. Soap is for external use only.

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